Friday, March 11, 2011

The Bridal Quartet Series

The Bridal Quartet

Author: Nora Roberts

Publisher: Berkley (a Penguin Group imprint)

Pages: Four books, Vision in White, Bed of Roses, Savour the Moment and Happy Ever After

Read Time: It took a year for all the books to be released and hours to read them.

Rating (1-5): 4

Tag Words: bride, wedding company, best friends, romance, engagement, wedding cake, photography, flowers, business woman, different personalities, hot guys

My Summary:

Walk a year in the fabulous shoes of best friends, Mackenzie, Mac, Emmaline, Emma, Laurel and Parker as they host the weddings of the year at Vows, there one-stop-bridal-shop. When these four girls meet four amazing guys, it’s only a matter of time before those wedding bells ring for the Quartet!

My Review:

I have been reading these books since Easter, when I first got my hands on Emmaline’s story- Bed of Roses. I didn’t know that this was a series, or that Vision in White was the first book, but I fell in love right away!

Vision in White is Mac and Carter’s love story. Mackenzie is the photographer at Vows and being a photographer myself, I loved her angle (pardon my pun) of Vows. I also really love Carter, so I am sold out on Vision, it’s amazing. Mackenzie has to tackle some issues that many young women might be able to relate to. Her mom and dad are separated and have never been there to support her, in fact her mother tends to embarrass her and degrade her as a hobby! Enter Carter, snow-covered and blushing, who helps her overcome the heartache of her past while leading her into her future.

The second book is my second favorite. Bed of Roses is about the beauty of the group (by the way, she is also the most curvaceous) Emma, and her beau, Jack, who has commitment issues. Emma is the sweetheart of the group, a lover of flowers, she could be considered ‘gullible’ or ‘naive,’ but not in an off-putting way. Her proposal is the best of all three girls. It’s incredible. Simply incredible.

The third book, Savor the Moment, is where things began to take a nose dive. The previous books were rather clean for women’s lit. The intimate scenes were best described as making love, and the cursing was an occasional blip. In the case of Laurel, the Cake maker, and Parker’s brother, Delaney, called Del, I would say that the sex scenes got steamier in a bad way and the cursing completely over-shadowed anything romantic that occurred. I finished it, the writing was still good, if dirty, and the pacing clipped along nicely.

Happy Ever After, the fourth and final book in the bridal quartet belongs to Parker, the Details manager at Vows, and the hot mechanic Malcolm. The cursing was still present, the sex was neither here nor there, it wasn’t romantic, but it wasn’t unreadable either. My biggest problem was how many Details there were in this book. The first two-thirds of the book has to do with random brides weddings. I thought for sure that we would see the high-profile Seamann wedding, with a reference to Carter’s sister’s event and end with Mac (or Mac AND Emma’s) wedding. Instead the narration got bogged down with an overly expressive day-to-day life of the Wedding Planner of the year. All the Details really didn’t lend a hand to characterization; one of the best parts of this series was how you got to know the girls book by book by book. However, I closed the pages on HEA completely unfulfilled by Malcolm's "past" (and his crummy proposal) and Parker’s journey to be less of a planner and more Happy with whatever wonderful could come her way. It was too easy, too boring and not a big enough slam-bang finish for this series.

I will say this for HEA, fans of Mrs. Grady will adore the final scene, I know I cried buckets and I wish that magical feeling had been captured from page one.

Notes on the Names: All the couples fit together so well! Mac and Carter, Emma and Jack, Laurel and Del, Parker and Malcolm. Let’s make some obnoxious celebrity-esque couple nicknames for these guys and gals! Cartenzie, Jemma, Delaurel, Marker!

Thoughts on the Covers: The best covers are Vision in White and Happy Ever After IMHO; Bed of Roses looks so cliché, and though I know Laurel’s job is Cake’s, I feel like the cake should have been an effect of the shot, like BOR, instead of filling up the frame. All the dresses are gorgeous, but Laurel’s is my favorite.

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